500-Pound Bear ‘Hank the Tank’ Has Reputation Cleared Due to DNA Evidence (UPDATE)

A massive 500-pound black bear known as "Hank the Tank" was alleged to have broken into over two dozen homes in South Lake Tahoe, California.

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UPDATED 2/25, 9:55 a.m. ET: Hank the Tank is safe thanks to DNA evidence.

Thursday, per NPR, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife said that DNA samples prove that “at least” two additional bears were involved in the recent headlines-spurring activity. Due to this development, Hank will not be moved to a sanctuary or killed.

See original story below.

History is full of lovable bears. There’s Fozzy, Yogi, and even Bear in the Big Blue House.

Hank the Tank, a 500-pound bear from California who has broken into many local residents’ homes, is having a hard time proving he’s one of the good guys. 

Bear Update: The 500-pound bear now has an unofficial name: "Hank the Tank," named appropriately by the South Lake Tahoe Police Department. Hank broke into another home Friday morning.

Read more >> https://t.co/tMNaRjOLjk https://t.co/28xqM2tEUT pic.twitter.com/s2vciDt6bD

— kcranews (@kcranews) February 18, 2022

Hank broke into yet another South Lake Tahoe home on Friday, after already being responsible for 150 calls and being at the other end of a six-month search by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, per CBS

“These are neighborhoods, there’s a lot of people around, traffic and cars. So, we have to do this in a way that is safe for both the public and the bear itself,” said Fish and Wildlife spokesperson Peter Tira. “This is a severely food habituated bear. What that means is this is a bear that has lost all fear of people and it sees people and homes as a source of food.”

Friday’s Catalina Drive bear home invasion is one of over two dozen break-ins by Hank since this summer. In this one, the giant bear broke a small window and squeezed inside, before officers eventually arrived and lured him away from the home. 

📢🇺🇸🙏🆘️Please RT and sign the petition for the beloved chonky black bear named Yogi or Hank the Tank🐻 in #California #tahoe #laketahoe #bears
Don't allow him to be killed! https://t.co/TQNs4TVHo3 pic.twitter.com/3h93zAtBCP

— Samson the Cat🐱 (@MeowMiya88) February 18, 2022

As for Hank’s future, while locals torn on if the bear may have to be killed, the Bear League is awaiting a response from Fish and Wildlife about potentially moving him to a sanctuary, with a meeting in Tahoe Keys scheduled for Wednesday to discuss what happens next. An online petition to keep Hank alive has since earned nearly 500 signatures.

“I want to petition to stop the euthanization of this bear, there are other options that can be done and there’s an offer by a sanctuary in Colorado to transport the bear there,” organizer Reyna Gomes wrote. “Please join in the fight to save this 500 lb bear from losing its life in Southern lake Tahoe keys area.”

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